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IGO Science in the News Group Update

This is a fantastic group to join if you wish to keep up to date with all branches of science and enjoy sharing ideas and sources of information. We meet on the second Wednesday of every month at 10am.

Plus, you have the space and opportunity to present your own take on the news should you wish to, but if you just want to sit back and listen and take part in the discussions this is perfectly ok too. In June we had 4 presentations and the session lasted around 90 mins. 

Helen’s contribution 

Prompted by a piece in the Guardian, she described how titanium was used and how the modern objects from a 3d printer used Titanium powder in particular. 3D printed titanium provides many advantages – examples quoted included a heart implant in India, and the US navy turning to the method to avoid the supply chain problems when procuring Titanium sponge from China and Russia. Plus, the Angle bike known as ‘Heaven’ whose whole framework is produced from powdered titanium in a 3D Printer. 

Colin’s contribution  

NASA project on UFOs. This NASA project team of 16 scientists is headed up by David Spurgel and Scott Kelly. Their purpose over nine months has been to investigate UFO evidence in the Sky, in Space and Underwater. The project does not actually refer to UFO’s but UAPs, short for Unidentified Anomalous Phenomena. They recently held a press conference to showcase their work so far. What has been evident is the data about sightings is just not scientifically robust enough to draw conclusions, and it is probable that the 2-5% of incidences remaining ‘unexplained’ is due to poor data. Colin was able to quote examples of sightings which when studied carefully have been able to be replicated and explanations found – in aircraft, balloons and even microwave ovens being the cause of some peculiar sightings.  

David’s contribution  

The European Space Agency launched its JUICE spacecraft in April. The craft will journey to Jupiter, which will take 8 years and then spend another 4 years investigating around three of its four icy moons, Europa, Callisto and Ganymede. Then instead of coming back, the craft will crash land on Ganymede. The moons are known as ocean worlds and the the craft will collect data to evidence whether any forms of life are present within the ice. 

Ian’s contribution  

Climate change – this presentation dwelt specifically with what's happening to the oceans. There were maps and graphs on: overall temperatures rises, circulation changes, ice melt rates, probable rise in sea levels mapped, fish stocks and creature protections, tidal power opportunities and one or two other aspects I’m not sure I fully grasped!  

Helpfully, after each session, Ian sends round to participants a list of useful references to pursue further information. 

You can join Interest Groups Online for just £12 per year, and then join the Science in the News group via the Beacon Members’ Portal.  

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